Expansion gives little lift to Kangwon

Gaming revenues for Kangwon Land Inc., operator of the only South Korean casino that can admit locals, edged up only 1 percent to 298 billion won ($267.9 million) in the second quarter from the April-June period in 2012 despite the opening of new tables and slot machines. Mass table revenues also rose 1 percent, to 158.1 billion won while slot revenues increased 10.7 percent to 102.4 billion won. VIP revenues however dropped 13.6 percent to 38.8 billion won on a lower hold rate. Net company profits fell 14.3 percent to 76.2 billion won while visitation to Kangwon’s remote valley resort rose 2.5 percent to 707,000 people.

The Ministry of Strategy and Finance has proposed to double the government entrance fee charged to Korean visitors to Kangwon Land Casino to 10,000 won from January 1. Analyst Sera Oh of UBS estimates this will affect only a limited number of casual visitors, reducing the company’s revenues by less than 1 percent.